The NAPCO Board of Directors, meeting in Minneapolis in August 2019, authorized the development of a series of briefing papers for presiding judges, court executives and court leadership teams that review and capsulize each day-long, interactive Leadership Academy Day seminar presented at the Association’s annual conferences.
I have spent 29 years as a general jurisdiction trial court judge, primarily in the criminal and family courts. Every day on the bench I saw those who had been traumatized by the crimes, actions or neglect of others. I know my experience is not unusual. A 2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics report tells us that the majority of Americans will experience a violent crime at some point in their lives. One in four children will suffer abuse or neglect. That adds up to 3 million children per year. Simply put, it is an unusual day when someone who has experienced trauma is not in the courtroom.
January has earned the nickname “Divorce Month” in legal circles because many couples wait until just after the holiday season to divorce. A study from the University of Washington from 2016, which looked at divorce filings from 2001-15 in the state of Washington, concluded that the number of filings increased in January, compared to December. Filings climbed from January to March, fell again, and rose to another peak in August.